An SNP MP has called on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to speed up the dismantling of decommissioned naval submarines which have been laid up in a Fife dockyard for more than 20 years. Douglas Chapman, whose constituency includes the Port of Rosyth, welcomed a Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) report which found radioactivity doses in the area were well within safe limits, but added the town should not be a ‘sanctuary’ for the vessels. Rosyth dockyard is home to seven decommissioned submarines, the oldest of which, HMS Dreadnought, has been laid up since 1980. Although all the vessels in Fife have been defuelled, they cannot be scrapped until their radioactive parts have been removed – a process that will take decades. The MoD announced in December last year it had finally began this gradual process, beginning with HMS Swiftsure, which has been laid up at Rosyth since 1992. The cost of storing and maintaining them was £1.6 million in 2013/14, down from £3.8m the year before. An MoD spokesman said: “Work is well underway after we began Initial Dismantling last year in Rosyth as planned. Our priority is to ensure that submarine dismantling is undertaken in a safe, secure, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner.” Dr Paul Dale of SEPA, said its report demonstrated the public was protected against sources of radioactivity which could impact on our food and the wider natural environment. He added: “The report represents a collaborative effort by all agencies to carry out rigorous annual monitoring, to ensure dose levels are well within international limits.”
Scotsman 31st Oct 2017 read more »
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NW Evening Mail 31st Oct 2017 read more »